Healthy Eating for Teenagers

With all the changes going on in your body, being a teenager can be hard work. Hormones at puberty have a lot to answer for – your body shape is changing, your skin is getting spotty, your mood is all over the place, you are sprouting hair in usual places…

Making a few changes to the food you eat could make a massive difference to how you look and feel.

Top Tips for Healthy Teens:

  1. Eat breakfast. Set yourself up well for the day and eat something before you go to school. Peanut butter on toast, weetabix with milk, or a quick breakfast smoothie with banana, yoghurt & oats would be perfect. A healthy breakfast will help you to concentrate better and keep your energy levels up too.
  2. Keep well hydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day. That’s about one and a half litres. Fizzy drinks and juice can upset our skin, but enough water helps a healthy complexion.
  3.  Eat 5 a day. Do your best to get as many nutritious fruit and vegetables into your diet. If you are not keen on veg, then try them in a curry or chilli. the more colourful vegetables and fruit  you can pack into your diet the better it is for your skin, mood and energy.
  4. If you are a teenage girl, then you will need to work extra hard to make sure you have enough iron in your diet. Around 50% of teenage girls become low in iron when their periods start. We need iron to help our blood carry oxygen around our bodies, When we are low in it, we can feel exhausted.  Here are some good sources of iron:
    • Red meat
    • Dark green vegetables like rocket, kale, watercress)
    • Beans (e.g. red kidney beans, chickpeas);
    • Dried fruits like figs and apricots.
    • Seeds – try pumpkin seeds on cereal
  5. Learn how to cook a few basic meals – start with things like beans on toast, or pizza. Learn how to make your favourite healthy meals like spaghetti bolognese, curry, chilli or fajitas.
  6. Get some calcium into your diet every day. calcium is essential for growing bones and healthy teeth. Here is where we get calcium from:
    • Dairy foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt are good sources.
    • Nuts and seeds (especially sesame seeds)
    • Calcium fortified non-dairy milks
    • Dark green leafy vegetables
    • Tinned fish with bones
  7. Snack on healthy stuff that will help support hormones and keep you energised. Here are a few ideas you might like:
    • yoghurt with fruit
    • toast with peanut butter and banana
    • houmous and carrot sticks
    • cheese and crackers
    • fruit
    • nuts and seeds
  8. Eat three meals a day. Don’t skip meals, or you are likely to end up feeling tired and grumpy.
  9. Cut back on sugar. Sugar really affects our mood and energy, and not in a good way. If you like sugary snacks, then eat them less often – have them as a treat every now and then instead of as a snack every day.
  10. Take time to get outside and do some exercise to help release some feel good endorphins.